(written from a Production point of view)
Hanelle M. Culpepper (born 22 September 1970; age 49) is a producer, writer and director. She directed the Star Trek: Discovery first season episode "Vaulting Ambition" and the second season episode "The Red Angel", and the first two episodes of Star Trek: Picard, "Remembrance" and "Maps and Legends". In that capacity, she is the first black woman who has directed the premiere episode of a Star Trek series.
Culpepper is a native of Alabama and has earned a BA in Economics and French at Lake Forest College as well as an MA at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism of the University of Southern California (USC). After being involved with several student film projects at USC (The Big Gig, Mr. October with Matt Winston), she assisted the director of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in 2002.
Since then, she has mainly been active as a director both of movies and television. Among her television credits are episodes of Hawaii Five-O (with Daniel Dae Kim), Sleepy Hollow (co-created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and featuring Derek Mears), and three episodes of Castle (starring Penny Johnson, with John Billingsley and Nazneen Contractor). She also directed the 2013 television movie Hunt for the Labyrinth Killer (with Joanna Miles).
Culpepper has also written and produced several short films.